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Monday, November 16, 2009

The blind leading the blindThe thing about roller blinds is that they’re so easy to install that even a woman in a t-shirt can do it without breaking into a sweat or losing her smile. Frankly I could have done with her help yesterday afternoon.

Now that it’s officially Christmas, I’ve been trying to think what to get Lisa’s Mum this year. It’s tough, because obviously she already has everything she could ever want. And she has me as a son-in-law. The woman is truly blessed. But then I thought, hang on a moment, despite living in the lap of luxury, she’s currently using an old towel on a couple of rusty nails as her kitchen curtain. What she really needs is a roller blind. And a man to fit it. Unfortunately I could only afford the former.

So at 2:45pm yesterday afternoon, Lisa and I turned up at her Mum’s unannounced and forced her to look after Amelie (you don’t get something for nothing) while we headed off to B&Q to look for the cheapest nicest roller blind available. We got back at 3:45pm and I told Lisa that with a bit of blind luck, we’d be home for Amelie’s tea at five.

As it transpired, she was up until way past her bedtime. I don’t know what it is about Brighton council flats, but they seem to be hewn from reinforced granite coated in mushy plaster of Paris. One moment the wall was crumbling away in front of me, the next it was refusing to be dented by a power drill on full blast. It’s never taken so long to get four rawlplugs into a kitchen wall.

But having done that (by which time Amelie’s tea was cold), I still had to cut the roller blind tube to size, something the instructions informed me could easily be done with just a simple hacksaw. Well maybe if you’re a blonde in a pink t-shirt, it can. Personally my hacksaw wouldn’t even dent the thing. I was slicing away for half an hour with a heavy duty wood saw just to get a small nick in it. By the time I’d got all the way through, I had repetitive strain injury, blisters, and a sore shoulder.

With that little job done, I just had to cut the blind itself without going wonky or letting the edges fray. I achieved neither. But I don’t think anyone noticed. The good news is that by 7pm, Lisa’s Mum had a working roller blind, I had a headache, and Lisa had a tired baby who should have been home hours ago. I always knew Christmas was stressful.